Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Navigators Specialty Insurance Co. v. Double Down Interactive, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

July 26, 2019

NAVIGATORS SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY Plaintiff,
v.
DOUBLE DOWN INTERACTIVE, LLC Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING DEFENDANT'S CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          BARBARA J. ROTHSTEIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         In this action, Plaintiff Navigators Specialty Insurance Company (“Navigators”) seeks relief from the Court as to whether Navigators has a duty to defend Defendant Double Down Interactive, LLC (“Double Down”) in a putative class action lawsuit. Compl., Dkt. No. 1 at ¶ 1. The parties have brought cross-motions for summary judgment. Dkt. Nos. 16, 18. Having reviewed the parties' filings, the record of the case, and the relevant legal authorities, the Court concludes that Navigators does not have a duty to defend Double Down in the putative class action.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Double Down operates Double Down Casino, an online game where players are initially given one million free digital chips to play casino-like games on an interactive platform. Dkt. No. 17 at 11. After players use their initial chips, Double Down offers to sell them additional chips starting at $2.99 for 300, 000 chips so that they can continue playing the game. Id. at 12.

         Currently, Double Down is the defendant in a putative class action lawsuit on behalf of Adrienne Benson, Mary Simonson, and all others similarly situated (“Benson action”). Id. at 1. Benson began playing Double Down Casino on Facebook in 2013, and since 2016 she has allegedly lost over $1, 000 playing the game. Id. at 10. The complaint for the Benson action alleges unjust enrichment; violations of Washington's gambling statute, Wash. Rev. Code § 4.24.070; and violations of Washington's Consumer Protection Act, Wash. Rev. Code § 19.86.010. Id. at 12-17.

         In 2017, DoubleU Games bought Double Down. Dkt. No. 17, Ex. A. at ¶ 24. Around that time, Double Down purchased two claims-made liability insurance policies from Navigators. Dkt. Nos. 1-3, 1-4. The first is SmartPolicy No. CH17DOL331672IC (“2017-2018 Policy”), which provides coverage for claims made between June 2017 and June 2018. Dkt. No. 1-3, Endorsement No. 5. The second is SmartPolicy No. CH17DOL331675IC (“Runoff Policy”), which provides coverage for claims made between June 2017 and June 2023, but contains an endorsement (“Runoff Endorsement”) that excludes from coverage claims “based upon, arising from, or in any way related to any Wrongful Act committed or allegedly committed on or after June 1, 2017.” Dkt. No. 1-4, Endorsement No. 5. The Runoff Policy contains several other exclusions from coverage, including an interrelationship of claims provision and a professional services exclusion. Dkt. No. 1-4, Directors and Officers Liability Coverage Part, § 3 A.11; General Terms and Conditions, § VIII.B.

         In another court, Navigators is currently defending Double Down in the Benson action under a reservation of rights. Dkt. No. 16 at 3. In this Court, Navigators alleges that it has no duty to defend or indemnify Double Down in the Benson action under either insurance policy. Id.

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Standard for summary judgment

         Summary judgment is proper “if the movant shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). In deciding a summary judgment motion, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all justifiable inferences in its favor. Johnson v. Poway Unified Sch. Dist., 658 F.3d 954, 960 (9th Cir. 2011). The parties do not dispute any material facts in this case. Therefore, it is appropriate for the Court to consider summary judgment.

         B. Choice of law

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the basis of the Court's jurisdiction in this case is diversity because Plaintiff and Defendant are citizens of different states and the matter in controversy exceeds the sum value of $75, 000. Dkt. No. 1-1 at 1. If a defendant has its principal place of business or is incorporated in a state, it is subject to the substantive laws of that state when sitting in diversity. See 18 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1); Hanna v. Plumer, 380 U.S. 460, 464 (1965); Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Elec. Co-op., Inc., 356 U.S. 525, 535 (1958). Defendant Double Down is incorporated or holds its principal place of business in Washington. Dkt. No. 1-1 at 1. Therefore, Washington state law governs this dispute.

         C. Standard for finding a duty to defend

         “[I]f there is any reasonable interpretation of the facts or the law that could result in coverage, the insurer must defend.” Nat'l Sur. Corp. v. Immunex Corp., 297 P.3d 688, 691 (Wash. 2013) (en banc). However, the insurer “will not be compelled to defend its insured when the potential for liability is . . . tenuous and farfetched.” Id. (“Although the duty to defend is broad, it is not triggered by claims that clearly fall outside the policy.”); see also Lassen Canyon Nursery, Inc. v. Royal Ins. Co. of Am., 720 F.2d 1016, 1018 (9th Cir. 1983).

         IV. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.